England's Rose

Chapter Eight: Making It Happen

"Get a move on, will ya? The car will be here in less than an hour!" Pizzazz's voice shrieked out across the cacophony of noise that was coming from one of the Gabor Mansion's biggest salons, a note of impatience in her tone as she surveyed the chaos before her. It had been the same since nine o clock that morning, when Eric had announced that he had scheduled a press conference for that afternoon and that it would be necessary to make sure 'his girls' as he labelled them dryly were all dressed and primped ready to have their photos taken. He had arrived at the Gabor Mansion early with the contract for Jetta to sign, and she had done so with a flourish, knowing now she was tied to the company and that she had some security in the United States. A buzz of excitement had washed over her as she had put pen to paper...she was going to be a star, and in less than twenty-four hours her name would be all over the American press. From a nobody to a somebody overnight...she could not have done it better if she had planned it that way.
Of course, the press conference had meant that the fashion designers that saw to the majority of the Misfit wardrobe had been called in, in order to ensure that Jetta herself was dressed in the right style and look for the cameras. This was something she had revelled in all the more, knowing that the music company was paying entirely for her new wardrobe she had had great fun picking and choosing her new outfits, before finally settling on one to wear before the American photographers. Now the focus was on makeup and hair and Pizzazz, who as usual had finished first was getting bored with waiting for her fellow bandmates to be ready.
"Cool out, Pizzazz. We got time yet." Roxy put in from where she was adjusting her necklace in front of the mirror. "Anyway, the press are gonna be there to see her." she jerked her head in Jetta's direction. "We might as well wear paper bags over our heads, for all they'll care."
"They'll want to take pictures of us all, Roxy." Stormer chided, straightening the skirt of her pink dress and beginning to carefully apply her eyeliner. "The new Misfits, that's what Eric said. It's a big publicity blitz for all of us."
"You bet it is." Pizzazz nodded, fingering her own necklace absent-mindedly. "Jetta, you ready yet? I'm gettin' bored waiting for you all!"
"I'm done, Pizzazz. Relax." Jetta replied, setting down her eyeshadow and critically examining her hair in the mirror before turning to grin at the singer. "This is a buzz, you know...I ain't done a press conference before."
"Of course you haven't. You're an amateur." Roxy snapped, cursing as she caught her finger on the clasp of her jewellery.
Jetta raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. Roxy had been sniping at her since the moment they'd met, and she was determined not to let it ruin her big day. She knew that much of this behaviour was jealousy, for the attention had been focused on the new star since they had met.
As for Pizzazz, as Stormer had rightly surmised, she had quickly found in Jetta a new ally of equal mischief and more than equal intelligence. Pizzazz was clever, there was no doubt about it, but Stormer had soon realised that Jetta was something else where intellect was concerned. Sharp witted and sharp tongued, she had gotten the better of Roxy's insults time and time again, frustrating the blond more and more as the night had worn on.
It was almost funny, Stormer mused, as she tucked her habitual flower into her curls of hair, how Pizzazz had changed, even in a short space of time. She had always been the aloof leader of the group in many ways, in charge but not companionable in the same way that Stormer had always felt a companionship with the difficult Roxy. But her attitude to the newcomer had almost verged on friendly, and Stormer had noted with interest that Pizzazz seemed keen to impress the newest Misfit as much as she could.
Jetta's reaction to Pizzazz was more difficult to read. The British girl was calm and collected about everything, not giving much of a hint to what she was thinking inside, but it seemed to Stormer that Jetta was equally drawn to Pizzazz's sense of mischief. Who would play the leader remained to be seen...Stormer's own feeling was that Pizzazz would not relinquish the title easily, but then again she had observed enough of Jetta's manipulative potential the night before to realise that there was no need for the English girl to take the crown.
If she wanted something her way, she knew how to get it without upsetting the balance of power. Somehow Stormer knew she would be a very dangerous person to cross.
"There ain't nothin' to dealin' with the press." Pizzazz said airily at that moment, waving her hand dismissively to illustrate her point. "Bunch of losers, the lot of them. You just smile, answer their questions and make sure they know who the stars are, okay?"
"No problem." Jetta nodded her head. "Okay, so where exactly are we goin' for this conference thingy?"
"Misfit Music." Eric himself put in at that point from where he had been quietly sitting in the corner, going over paperwork as he tried his best to block out the band's squalling. "The auditorium there is perfect for this kind of stunt and you ought to see the music company as soon as is humanly possible. You girls do realise that we need to follow up this publicity blitz with a new single, don't you?"
"Relax, Eric, we got a new single." Pizzazz returned. "What do you think we were playin' last night, huh?"
"See to it that you do." Eric responded. "Because there's little point in making a big deal about a new member if there's no new music to go with it!"
"Yeah, yeah." Pizzazz rolled her eyes. "C'mon, Jetta, let's leave these losers and go see if the car's arrived yet. It'd better be a big car..."
"It'll be big, Pizzazz, don't you worry about that." Eric rolled his eyes.
"Yeah, it has to fit her head through the door." Roxy murmured to Stormer, who giggled. Pizzazz glared at them, but, not hearing exactly what Roxy had said merely turned on her heel, stalking out of the room. Rolling her eyes, Jetta followed suit. In all truth Pizzazz's spoilt brat tendencies amused her no end, but of all of her bandmates she had found the singer's company the most appealing. Stormer she had easily dismissed as a wimp, though in future she would come to change her mind on that count, and Roxy she had decided was not only dumb but a nusiance, too. Pizzazz on the other hand had a sense of fun, and Jetta rightly guessed that life did not move slowly around the enterprising Miss Gabor.
"I don't like her." Once Jetta was gone, Roxy aired her views in no uncertain tones, tossing her makeup brush across the room with a scowl. "I don't want her in this band, Eric!"
"Well, she's signed the contract now, Roxy. It's kinda a done deal." Eric glanced up once more from his paperwork. Roxy's scowl deepened.
"So? She's trouble! We don't need her...can't you get rid of her?"
"What Pizzazz says, goes." Eric's tone was laced with irony. "To be honest with you, Roxy, the idea doesn't thrill me either. This girl has no work permit, the legal ramifications of that alone are ones I'd rather not tangle with."
"Legal wha?" Roxy looked blank.
"He means the consequences, Roxy." Stormer put in quietly. "What sort of ramifications, Eric?"
"Just take my word for it that it wouldn't be pretty for Misfit Music, and Jetta would undoubtedly be deported." Eric sighed. "More, I wish we knew more about her. Pizzazz was all for signing her before we even had a name for her...as it is I don't have her real name on file. She refused to give it to me."
"I can tell you that." Stormer responded. "It's Sheila Burns, Eric. I found that out at the hotel last night. But I don't think she likes it much so...so don't tell her I told you. I...I'm kinda scared of her."
"Don't be a doofy." Roxy snorted. "She's just some dumb Brit, Stormer. You gonna let her tell you what to do?"
"I...I guess not." Stormer lowered her gaze. "She does play good music, though."
"Yes, there is that." Eric nodded. "At the risk of agreeing with Roxy, though, I have to say I think she might well be trouble, too. There's something I just don't like about her...and it makes me all the more uneasy to see how Pizzazz seems to have taken to her. It means she'll be all the more difficult to manage." He sighed heavily. "Sometimes I wish I'd never heard of you girls. You never fail to give me a headache."
"Charming!" Roxy exclaimed. "We're stars, Eric!"
"And who made you that way?" Eric raised an eyebrow. "Come on. The car will be here soon, and we've this press conference to do. I only hope things will go all right..."

Chapter One: Life in London
Chapter Two: The Saxophone
Chapter Three: A Friend In Need
Chapter Four: Never Again...

Chapter Five: Sheila's Decision
Chapter Six: A Band In Crisis
Chapter Seven: First Night
Chapter Eight: Making It Happen

Chapter Nine: The Misfits In London
Chapter Ten: On Every Screen...
Chapter Eleven: A Musical Reunion
Chapter Twelve: Jealousy
Chapter Thirteen: An Old Acquaintance
Chapter Fourteen: Doing London
Chapter Fifteen: Sabotage!
Chapter Sixteen: The Final Straw
Chapter Seventeen: Opening Night
Chapter Eighteen: Jetta

(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. All characters who do not appear in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)